Leaf from a Bible with decorated initial and vegetal ornament

Accession Number

Leaf from a Bible with decorated initial and vegetal ornament


Object Creation Date
early 15th century

Medium & Support
ink on glazed paper

15 1/8 x 10 1/16 in. (38.4 x 25.5 cm);19 3/8 x 14 3/8 in. (49.21 x 36.51 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase

Subject matter
This leaf from a Bible contains part of the Gospel of Matthew written in Armenian and arranged in two columns. The initial in the lower right column in the shape of two pecking birds calls attention to the beginning of a new section within the text. The graceful curved forms of this initial and the ornamental sidebar in the left margin echo the flowing rhythm of the handwritten script.

Physical Description
This page from a manuscript features two columns of text written in Armenian. An animal-shaped initial, composed of two stylized birds pecking one another, appears in the lower right column. The lower left margin is decorated with a sidebar that elegantly combines geometric and plant motifs. The decorative elements are painted in pink and blue with touches of reddish orange.

Primary Object Classification
Bound Work

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)
Unbound Work

Collection Area

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illuminations (visual works)
manuscripts (document genre)

4 Related Resources

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Christian New Testament
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Introduction to Manuscripts and Early Print
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted